Archive for September, 2005

Why I keep my job

Thursday, September 29th, 2005

Thursday was almost as good as Wednesday in the sense that it was a pleasant day and then it seem to segue into a good denouement but of course, naturally, and wouldn’t you believe it, life got in the way. S missed his flight and had to reroute and spend $700 to change to another flight, work was nutty, and maybe my part is a little hot, hard to tell because if you see it at the beginning in the sunlight you could easily say that but then it would slowly fade and you wouldn’t notice. But most of all there is just the weather that has changed here and helped the mood. W came home from school saying he had another good day. Won’rful Wednesday and Terrific Thursday – he is finding happiness here which is such a small miracle that it is deserves to be recognized.

But when I was smoking up the house it was hard to be pleasant when S called to say all that – I thought I was and was just buying time past the fanning the smoke out of the house, getting the steaks done, making sure the butter for the green beans wasn’t burning and overall just trying to stay positive but from what I heard I was “mean” – “like when you say I am being a dick, that’s how you were on the phone” – so you take a deep breath.

L called today to say he again feels he should just tell K that she should make her bed with T and be done with it and that he will come visit and la di da. Sometimes when she calls he will say “oh honey, that gives me partial wood” and today when she asked if he loves her truly he said, I love you partially, and that is because he feels like he can’t commit to her when T is in the picture and also because he doesn’t have to commit to anyone he has known two months and had to evacuate his home during and I agree with that – I told him my new mantra is Carpe Diem – in a big way – just now, right now, this is good, this is the right spot, this is what I’m talking about, not tomorrow, not next week, not next year.

I’m leaving Arlington tomorrow and I’m going to try to make sure every minute spent in a plane, cab, hotel is enjoyable. My immediate goals have shrunk to the hedonistic.

Would you go to Krakow – yes, of course I would – it’s going to be freezing there is all I can think of – then again, what do I know about freezing having spent the last 100+ days in the air conditioning.

Won’rful Wednesday

Thursday, September 29th, 2005

There is nothing like hick charm in my book even if N lovingly mocks L for the way he says wonderful, won’rful has an endearing quality.

The other N sent a note this morning after trying to reach me several times – she had a flat in nowhere Virginia and is trying to make sense of it all. I told her that I have stopped thinking about the future – which has been my MO most of my life – future plans, goals, this and that – now it’s just right now, this minute because future has proven to be so uncertain – I’m trying to live now and not ask questions about what comes next because really who knows and everything has a way of falling in place – if you look backwards you can connect the dots and a life is pieced together – but trying to put your mind out there into tomorrow or the next day and suggest you have any chance of pulling strings is kind of an inane endeavor anyway – QED Katrina.

A Texas storm blew in yesterday with everyone out of town except N, W and I to experience the cataclysmic goings on – W said when we picked him up that he had had a great Wednesday. The temperature dropped 107 to 65 – the heat is off! For the time being this could be more tolerable. Lightning, thunder and howling wind – made me sleep with an ear open – the Muse was electric but then as I actually try to find the words I return to the blank page blank – I hate laying out the sentimental, the kind of ooey gooey – so then I don’t write at all. I just think of life as one big chess game where sometimes I am the Queen, sometimes a Pon, and sometimes I am moving the pieces and sometimes another hand is moving them, and sometimes the board sits there unchanged.

Note yesterday from my beloved D that she and hers are safe back in Houston after evacuating. Need to go see her – she’s always a good antidote to real world stress. But whirlwind of travel coming up – unfamiliar ceilings to contemplate – more things to miss – and always the anticipation that travel brings.

Do Not Enter Zone

Tuesday, September 27th, 2005

Finding the right thing to do to beat the refugee blues – we went back to the Gypsy Tea Room to see Built to Spill and were pleasantly entertained by three bands, The Walkmen and BTS as well as an ensemble at the beginning. We had stopped to get P first and have some cocktails at his house – the ten year gin was excellent and kicked the evening off right – unlike the the last excursion that began with tension on a skillet and then scattered into just relative disappointment. I mean Lucinda was good but she was too good in the words of L where there was no reason to have seen her live. The band before her was terrible and the crowd was apathetic. This was much more in keeping with good concert vibes. The Walkmen singer reminded me of Wade and his Do Not Enter song – think it was Stop Talking or something along those lines. N and I wore our boots and I had my longhorn buckle – there are parts of Texas that I’m willing to take home with me.

Afterwards I needed food – HOT DOG, we wound up at The Diner around from P’s house. Our waitress was a Divine look alike and when I caught a glance of her sucking down the whipped cream from the aerosole can while hiding behind the ice tea cooler I felt like it was indeed a John Water’s moment. I had just keyed up the jukebox when I returned to find everyone had wailed on their master burgers and tater tots – there were no hot dogs. Yum, tots with mayonaise, things to adore.

Went to sleep last night and had vivid randy dreams that made me wake up smiling. It’s all in the mind, you just need to flip it – as S has so often said to me when she has had a little wine in her. You just need to flip it.

Yesterday and this morning W came running in and put his hands on my neck and said “oh, you feel so warm I could just keep my hands here all day.” The sales guy yesterday at Leddy’s who had eyes that were as green as Kim Possible’s – who asked me if I am a Scorpio and said his birthday is November 7 – I told him that happened to be a day I hold very dear and suddenly we both felt the connection as he walked me down the street – he couldn’t stay away and I understood when he told me his birthday. I wrote before it’s a kiss that will turn you, but think the eyes have powerful tug – if you connect there then you can work your way through the rest so easily.

When I think of what I would do or could do it makes me feel like Kim Possible.

Fear of being a cliche

Monday, September 26th, 2005

It’s hard to fear being a cliche when you are living through extraordinary times like a diaspora. But I haven’t really been myself for quite some time. I get caught up in my thoughts and can’t seem to come out of my head and just be. In doing that I also stop directing my actions and start settling for what’s offered when I want so much more. So the question is do you focus on not wanting or do you not settle? Let go of your attachments, Yoda clearly said, for they lead to jealousy which is just short of greed.

John Donne said: And we therefore which are one, though I must part, endure not yet a breach, but an expansion, like gold to airy thinness beat. If we are two, we are two so as stiff twin compasses are two – thy soul, the fixed foot, makes no show to move unless the other do, and though it in its circle sits while the other far doth roam, it leans and harkens after it and grows erect as that comes home.

And I say: whatyagonnado? We have become the borg here in Arlington so it is tough to strike out with independent thought and feeling – we are wound so tight that it is difficult to tell who is doing the breathing for the group and who is the dead weight. So again I ask, am I a cliche? Here in the midst of my wanting to strike out for the open territory, I am instead hitching my dreams to a black hole that has the potential to vanquish me – that old desire to be ephemeral, a mist that is hosted and summoned only for pleasure – this started so long ago I’m not sure if its undoing wouldn’t be my undoing.

Dreams last night of eyes that soak you in – a kind of purposeful focus that you cannot turn away from – am I the one gazed at or the gazer – is the focus on controlling the gaze or on the gazer – what truly is its purpose?

Once you stake the territory out and activate your land grab what are your intentions. And why should I even be contemplating a what next when you can’t even move to what now.

Today is Monday – week 4 of the evacuation – no wonder the pinching is starting to be felt all over again.


Sunday, September 25th, 2005

a·dore vt
1. to love somebody intensely
2. to worship God, a deity, or a spirit
3. to like something or somebody very much (informal)

Encarta® World English Dictionary © 1999 Microsoft Corporation. All rights reserved. Developed for Microsoft by Bloomsbury Publishing Plc.

Going Cowgirl

Sunday, September 25th, 2005

Yesterday was spent in downtown Ft Worth shopping for our cowboy outfits at Leddy’s. I am now outfitted – black felt cowboy hat, orange crushed velvet mini skirt, belt, star of Texas buckle, boots (so fly), black silk cowboy shirt. S has shirt and jeans. W and V got boots. So we are good to go on our band. Rita managed to ruin a few places and spill a lot of water in New Orleans, breaching some levees, but all we felt was a beautiful day with nice breezes here in Arlington. P joined us at the Modern and for shopping and Reata for dinner. He has boots and just needs a buckle before he can be in the band.

I keep thinking about Elizabeth and Alexis at Uncle Joe’s – I miss their voices and the sessions. Then my mind will wander to the cute French waiter at Degas and I wonder if he is coming back. I lay in bed napping this afternoon and in a dreamy state of mind and S said he was at the end of his coping with the group – he needs to have alone time more than anyone I know – I asked him if he wanted to move back to California since O had said she felt sorry for S the most because she understood I was coming back to a place that haunts me but he was just following me so now he was suffering a diaster for no reason – he said sometimes when he feels my distance he wonders what he is doing here and he turns to his work for solace. Why would a place call to me so loudly that it makes me miss it like a lover, makes it difficult to call home to another place – I feel as if the power it holds on me is indicative of my ability to lose myself.

The Muse has had me running loops around myself and not sure where I have ended up. Friday began in the red because of Thursday night’s bourbon, but I gained clarity through the day and then later the pool and a cocktail were able to kick that nasty feeling and a mellow evening and sleep helped a great deal to right me again. Saturday spent downtown at museums and shops – with a few moments of confusion and everything seemingly scattered here and yon, and drawing the shades to try to think my way out of some spinning emotional state but then I righted myself again. Sunday mellow except for S craving his own time. He said he had looked online for some hotels but because Rita made Houston evacuate all the rooms were booked here in Arlington. After my nap, I cried for longing to be back in New Orleans – I miss the bayou. I miss the blessed mornings when I woke to take the Bean for her playdate – please bring those days back to me – as sweet as they were, they will be even sweeter. I fear that sometimes I want something that will never be and that is disconcerting.

The Bean is better and back to begging. She brings me such great happiness that I question anyone’s ability to leave a dog behind during a hurricane – I know – these are extraordinary times but yet I still can’t understand the pets in New Orleans. Arlene is the best dog. I would have strapped her to my chest to wade through the water with her – of course, I hope I am not being too cavalier.

At the end of the day, Arlington remains the same – a depot for emotional pauses and outpourings – Katrina remains one enormous distraction or catalyst for change – we won’t know until later when we look back and contemplate the days. I believe there are options that are ahead of us that don’t fit neatly into what most would expect = it’s not as if this happens then this or that happens then that you can totally stretch the options to have more flexibility.

One more for the road

Friday, September 23rd, 2005

My friend R IM’d me this morning to say he had broken up with his Italian girlfriend – “so fn sad” he writes – she’s headed back to Italy plus ‘she didn’t want to have babies” – he wanted to know how I was doing with yet another hurricane bearing down on my general area. Told him I was mid to partly cloudy. He asked if I am depressed and said don’t think so. He said well don’t be you are well-loved and well-limbed.

Last night after a day of tearful phone calls – one with N (cry over Arlene), one with mom (Arlene and Rita), one with L (Arlene, Rita and K) – I was exhausted by the end of the day – I wanted to cry myself to sleep but instead just lay there looking at the light through the blinds. Earlier had to rally to go see Lucinda – S opted to stay home with the Bean because she had just returned from the hospital. L was here and could watch her but there was this tense moment when we were discussing so in order not to impose, he stayed. Didn’t miss much – the warm up band was barely warm. And Lucinda was good but in the end not great – something kind of blah – plus I drank too much bourbon – ack – not a good drink for me because I go from 0 to 100 in short time. But couldn’t help myself because felt like I was being pulled down to a dark well and was railing against it. In the end, think the dark side might have won because a window opened and I didn’t necessarily look through but what I saw made me shake my head.

Sometimes I think I just should exchange brains with someone else because I am sick of what I know.

Arlene the Bean

Thursday, September 22nd, 2005

After two days of throwing up and diarrhea, we brought Arlene to the vet hospital late last night to discover she has pancreatitis – which she could have gotten anywhere but she has such an acute case the vets were mystified at why she looked so good. So was I – it is what kept me from bringing her earlier – she kept acting like she wasn’t all that sick except when she opened her mouth. So now they are trying to stabilize her and see if they can get some food in her tonight. While we waited on her bloodwork to be ready, we sat in a room watching Rita bear down on Texas as a now Category 5 and out in the hall beside our closed door a woman began to sob softly at first then build to a cadence of pure grief – she must have been speaking to someone on her cell – all I heard was her whisper “he died on the way here” and she lost it and I just about lost it – I hopped on the cold stainless steel examining table with Arlene and just held her close and prayed she would be fine because Arlene the Bean makes my day and I need her now more than ever.

L called to say a deer ran out of the woods and smack into his car – came out of nowhere he said – and messed his new Lexus up. P keeps calling wanting to make chit chat like the last thing out of her mouth wasn’t “our marriage was a disaster” – he thinks I don’t return his phone calls when I can never get through.

R wrote that maybe I could take all of this upheaval and write a book – I have scraps of paper written with phrases to piece together one day into a narrative – “calm the storms in my head” – “emotional cold” – “the most positive no I’ve ever heard” – “confused” – “not pieces – all … land grab” – “feel you shudder under me” (or see Emmy Lou – feel the heat of your body under me) – “what can I do for you?” – “take him with you” – “I’m not one of the people who work for you” – “when you said that I skyrocketed” …

September horoscope this month in the girly magazine: “Your heart is on the line” – I would change that to read “Your heart is not in line”

What do you do when your heart is on the line and you have no control over what affects it – walk off the planet? – today my heart feels like the basketball that popped last night – it retains somewhat of it’s original shape but feels like a six month old flat coated retriever cannot stop chewing on it.

Day 3 of no cigs – how does she do it?

Last night BJ said “you can only take half of Rachel, all is too much” – he doesn’t mean that, right?

Need to get on the phone and call my sources – love them – this should be easy – but feel as though if one of them probes too deeply into how I am really doing that I might lose it. Told J and K that I am not doing well this week – can’t handle dealing with the Editor’s Notebook – that’s true – L is explaining to S right now in the living room that N took the needle to the basketball last night and was pumping air into it but it was useless. What does all this mean really? Where is my damn epiphany, my groggy clarity, why should I be waiting on the Muse to figure this out – day 3 without cigs and yet I can’t control where my mind goes – what up with that?

I’ve missed two AM goodbye kisses and two goodnight kisses from W. That is two too many or four too many depending on how you group them.

A writes late last night to try to cheer me up:

Enuff w/ the tears…we…YOU…need some happy thoughts today.

“Don’t knock masturbation, it’s sex with someone I love.” Woody Allen

“Always do sober what you said you’d do drunk. That will teach you to keep your mouth shut.” Ernest Hemmingway.


Wednesday, September 21st, 2005

D and M now thinking they are evacuating this morning from Houston. J is sick and he is supposed to start wearing the helmet at the end of the month. L&S went to Covington where they are both working from satellite offices. B called to say he is working under adverse conditions on an old client’s house in Lakeview, trying to get it somewhat ready for them if and when they can move back. S and N were supposed to fly in to assess our return but now that is getting derailed by Rita. Nagin had to rescind his welcome.

Sigh – work has taken on an altered hue, home is in a galaxy far far away, Arlene has been sick with both germs as W is want to say – the throw up germ and the diarrhea germ.

Last night we started another movie – this one of W as the rock star – his repertoire includes Cowboy and Cowgirl, I Care About You, and Do Not Enter – all original songs. We could have a whole music video by the end of the month particularly since N bought him a cool microphone at a modern classic store. It’s perfect, looks really great in his hands and worked as an inspiration for his latest hit.

I’ve been thinking about how difficult it is to communicate – sometimes laying yourself bare causes the other person to step back, sometimes when you think you are just having banal conversation suddenly the other lays bare, it’s like you want to throw up a time out and say – and now we are going to lay ourselves bare and yet that doesn’t work either. Oh well.

New Orleans with no one around – everyone who has been there says it is surreal and eerie – but for some reason I would love to experience it.

Friends in Odd Places

Monday, September 19th, 2005

Friends seem to come from the unexpected at times – like A for instance – who just instinctively has known me and been able to respond always with such love and devotion. Or take M who came into my Industrial group and made such a difference and has time to think about me here in Arlington and send me a Nordstrom gift certificate. These and care packages weigh down your heart and make it difficult to say that’s it, I’m gone, can’t take it anymore. How do you walk away from this as your working relations?

Similarly you watch a tired married couple – like J and N who came over on their way out west – the snipping is part of a longterm disdain and you rail against this – you don’t want to be part of this club, and you watch yourself suddenly and you watch your friends and suddenly realize all the flaws that are associated with convention and you want to scream.

But back to A – she makes me welp up – I just want to hug her smurfy bones and hang out with her. Loving mother, over the top achiever, fabulous abs, she just keeps going with all of what she is – layers of love and competence and smarts. I worry about leaving this company, about her leaving it, about what we have had here and how afterwards it will be difficult to compare this to the next thing – or will it – is that fear talking? – we’ve had such a great run – having fun, making money, and doing good work and as we contemplate it being over or as I do, it already feels in the past and that is hard to bear. What comes next?

If you are learning about me via this blog that is incidental – it wasn’t meant to be this way – it’s a warm up exercise back to the habit – and if it is a window, it’s only a side window, there is so much that cannot be written – the Muse has been in charge of me but has not given me the go ahead to write freely – like all habits you have to be there as a habit to finally open the flood gates. Otherwise these are just random observations of the banal.